Family Matters

I spent the better part of the day at a family reunion.

I understand that I'm supposed to be focusing on the wonderfulness of multi-layered generations intertwining into a mangled mush of togetherness, but, really, these kinds of events leave me a little perplexed.

This particular reunion was for the "Edwards" clan.  Or "Edderds" as we've strangely enough nick-named ourselves.  (I haven't quite figured out why we feel the need to scrawl the word "Hillbilly" in bright black sharpie on our foreheads with such a naming, but, for reasons far beyond my realm of understanding, it's just the way things are.)  The Edwards family branches me from Jim-Dad's mom's side of the family.  My Nanny.  Sweet adorable cute-as-pie Nola Mae Edderds

My Nanny adored family reunions.  She was one of 5 brothers and sisters that were a closer set of siblings than I have ever witnessed in my life.  Each of the 5 had a smattering of kids and so on....so the Edderdses have grown to a somewhat scary multiplication of numbers.  (I'm just glad I'm in the family...because I'm pretty sure that they will take over the world one day...and all you non-Edwards will be out.of.luck.)

Because Nanny loved family reunions so much is why I think that I'm left with mixed feelings about such an event.  As the designated mother-figure of the entire clan, my Nanny loved nothing more than gathering her huge nest of chicks together.  She knew every.single.detail. about every.single.member. of our extended family....I know...because she told me every.single.detail. about every.single.member. of our extended family.  She just loved the fellowship and the togetherness of it all. 

And I haven't been to a family reunion since she went home to dance with Jesus.

And it makes me kind of sad.

Because, honestly, I don't really want to be at one without her.

Oh...I understand the importance of continuing on our legacy and that our generation has a great responsibility to handle such amazing tradition of a family that truly exemplified the meaning of the word. 

But it just stinks.

Because Nanny is not there for me to sidle up to and ask who someone is.  She's not there to fill me in on the latest gossip information regarding my 3rd cousin twice-removed's second wife's brother.  I don't get to hear her call all 5,398 Edwardses by name...first, middle, and last.  And I don't get to see the sheer joy that would envelope her face just at the mention of getting to see her family.

So....was the family reunion fun?  No.  Not really.  But not because the people aren't fun.  And not because the food wasn't amazing.  And not because the weather wasn't absolutely perfect for the day. 

No...it wasn't really fun today because Nanny wasn't there.

Here's my Nanny and I in 2004.  That's a 2 year old carrot-topped Sawyer holding her hand.  We were at a funeral when this picture was taken.  It didn't matter to Nanny though.  Funeral or not...it still meant her family was together.

Here's two of my most favorite ladies.  My mama and my Nanny.  Aren't they gorgeous?

Seriously...my new favorite picture of my Nanny.  That's her on the left in the blue shirt.  She's with her brother, Herb, and her sister, Ethel.  Gosh, how she loved them.  What they have on their heads, I have no idea...but I think they are cute as can be.

Sure wish they all could have been there today.......


Mich said...

Sorry i couldn't be there today with you. We could have family watched together.

I miss her too.

Love you so very much. she would have been so proud that you were there.

Sami said...

I totally get it. It's a completely different world since my Mama is gone. I even missed Christmas a few years ago. I've been back to the family church a few times since then. But it doesn't always seem like there's much of a need to go back. Once I accidentally drove by and I stopped to see her. She's buried out there with the rest of the family. Maybe even some Edderds...:) Isn't everyone in Arkansas related anyway??? That picture in the church does look strangely like ours... Hey! Maybe the Mississippi Edwards are related to the Arkansas Edwards and we really are cousins!!

Sami said...

OMG they do have cousins in Arkansas!!!

Jim said...

Yep, it was a day! And I just know that Mom would have wanted us to enjoy each other as much as she did! That's part of her legacy. And that's what family is - a legacy inheritance to be passed down - the more we do, the more she is remembered in all the different ways that she was for everyone. That's something to keep alive - and it doesn't happen if we don't get together and share the memories, right?


Jo said...

I missed her, too. As enjoyable as it was, visiting with the cousins and all, I couldn't help looking around, here and there, and wishing I could see mom and her siblings. It was kind of bittersweet at times.
Since I was living away for so many years, I didn't have a chance to really get to know many of the children of my 1st cousins until they were grown up. When I moved back to AR, Mom made sure I knew who everyone was, including the grands and greats. The greats and grands are now growing up and at the reunion I found myself asking who a lot of them belonged to. That wouldn't have happened with Nanny, would it?

I don't know about anyone else, but I felt that Mom and all the rest who are up there with Jesus, were smiling down on us, pleased that we were together.

I kinda think that Mom may have had an "in" with the power that controls the weather, also. The day began looking a little "iffy" but soon the clouds parted and the weather couldn't have been more perfect!

I ♥ U !
Aunt Jo

Carpool Queen said...

The last family reunion I attended was at my grandmother's funeral - all 6 of her children, all 19 grandchildren and all 21 great-grandchildren were in attendance.

She would have been delighted to see us under one roof. We were grief-stricken.

New Every Morning said...

Too bad I'm not an Eddard. Then we would be related!

Angie said...

One of the first things I said to my mom when "Aunt Nodee" passed was, "Who's going to keep us together now?"
She was too precious for words. How she kept up with everyone I'll never know! Without her in our ear we'll have to suck it up and actually admit we forgot someones name!
Love you dearly my first-cousin-once-removed!